Paris ring road the scene of ‘go slow’ protests by French driving instructors

Paris ring road the scene of 'go slow' protests by French driving instructors
Driving school owners have staged several protests. Photo: AFP
French driving instructors have held a “go-slow” protest on the Paris péripherique ring road to try and halt reforms they say will undermine their profession and make the country’s roads less safe.

Several dozen instructors converged on the entrance roads to the city early on Monday and then went onto the péripherique where they drove at a snail’s pace in order to disrupt traffic.

The instructors held protests in several cities across the country in February but the latest demo was confined to Paris.

Their unions warn that the profession will be “uberised” if some of the reforms contained in a parliamentary report on modernising  the system of preparing for the theoretical and practical driving tests are implemented.

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One measure would ease accreditation rules to allow driving schools without a physical premises – i.e. online schools – to be set up more easily. This would be unfair to traditional schools who have to fork out for a room or a building in which to hold classes, unions argue.

Another proposed measure would be to reduce the requirement for candidates to sign up for a driving test via driving schools and instead permit them to register on their own.

Proponents of reform argue that traditional schools are more concerned with loss of revenue than with road safety.

France is one of the most expensive countries in Europe for obtaining a licence, with the average cost about €1,800.


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